Hey Matt Walsh — where’s the transparency
By Brian Birmingham?
(The following was published in The Angelus, July 1983).TFP: A DANGEROUS CULT
John T. Armour
We were led to believe that, if we left the TFP, Our Lady would chastise us because She did not want anyone to leave Her army. Many tales of terrible deaths suffered by those who left were recounted. We actually knew a Brazilian member who had been transferred to the United States, but who left the organization to get married. When he contracted a bone disease which killed him, many were pleased to learn that such justice had been delivered to a turncoat.
The atmosphere cultivated within this group is one which holds that the entire world is corrupt and only the TFP has escaped the corruption. Even traditional Catholics, such as Archbishop Lefebvre and his followers, are scorned—though never publicly.
Very few members ever attend Mass on Sundays, not because of any inability to locate a Tridentine Mass chapel, but because most do not want to go. A few do attend Mass at a nearby Byzantine Catholic Church. Members of the TFP derisively refer to faithful Catholics who do attend the Tridentine Mass as "trads." I was mocked one Sunday for reading the Mass to myself out of a missal. TFP leaders even joke about "trad" priests saying on one occasion that they would like to have one kept in the basement to be brought out when needed.
The TFP members I knew do not believe that Pope John Paul II is a true Pope because, according to them, he has excommunicated himself by stating heresy. The group believes that the See is vacant. Neither of these attitudes, nor many other of the aforementioned attitudes will ever be stated in public, however. TFP members are very anxious to cultivate a favorable image, even among those they constantly denigrate.
It is my hope that no one will accept the TFP at face value. I believe the group to be a dangerous cult which does harm to those within its web, and to the Catholic Church which I thought I was serving while I was with it